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Legends: Intrepid Searchers of Danger

Photo by Laboratorio Enmovimiento.

Local legend on the isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, has it that God entrusted a 14th century Valencian saint with a difficult task: to distribute sacred muxes (pronounced moo-shes) throughout the country from a sack on his back. But when the saint, named Vicente Ferrer, passed through the town of Juchitán de Zaragoza, the muxes — a third gender assigned male at birth but who live as women — eagerly tore through the sack and scattered, settling in the region as locals. Today about 3,000 muxes live in Juchitán and are celebrated every November at the Vigil of the Authentic Intrepid Searchers of Danger.

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The Nostalgic Traveler: The Hauntings of Vincent Van Gogh

I went to Auvers-sur-Oise because I wanted to stay on a houseboat, not because of Vincent Van Gogh.

I caught a late morning train from the Gare du Nord in Paris, and in thirty-five minutes, I was in the countryside. The day was overcast and gray and pervaded by the kind of humid cold that sneaks into your boots and chills you. An unexpected snowstorm in Paris had left my feet perpetually frozen, and I’d made several trips to the Decathlon near my apartment to buy thick wool socks.

Walking along the Seine one afternoon, I had seen several houseboats moored in the 16th arrondissement near the Eiffel Tower. Wine bottles littered their decks. Ashtrays overflowed with cigarette butts and ashes, wet from the melting snow. Above, the city’s traffic rushed along the river. The boats didn’t look exactly peaceful, but I kept thinking about how they bounced lazily up and down in the current.

The journey by river is a classic heroic quest, undertaken by figures as different as Conrad’s Marlow and Huck Finn. Rivers triumph over our will. We must bend to theirs. They carry us along, to wherever we may be going, and they connect us to the past. They flow though time, linking up disparate moments, forging connections between things that are present and absent.

I wanted to be on a river, but I didn’t really want to go anywhere. I just wanted to watch the river go somewhere. All I had to do was find a houseboat, a boat that played at domesticity. Continue Reading…

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You Are Here: Follow the Leader

One man’s romance with the wilderness has made an entire country fall in love. Kyuyu Fukada, a mountaineer and author often called ‘the man of letters of the mountain’ differs from other literary men who carried notebooks in their hiking packs such as John Muir or Edward Abbey. If this paints a romantic picture of a wool-capped man sitting under a cedar with a notebook on his knee, it should, as Fukada paints this scene himself many times over his travels up Japans peaks. His connection with the land is not only literary and self-reflective but also patriotic and representative of the ties that many Japanese feel to nature. Like many other wilderness enthusiasts of the twentieth century, Fukada encouraged spending time in nature away from society, but in Fukada’s case, Japanese society has followed him to its summits. Continue Reading…

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Somewhere on Film

Till We Meet Again is a project of snapshots documenting the past two years as a transient in the state of California. All the photographs are shot on 35mm film that were processed and scanned in pickup beds, tents, and motel rooms.

 

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Chanae Marie, is a photographer from NYC, who has lived in 6+ different cities across the U.S., who can’t seem to keep still. She enjoys darkroom processing/printing and hopes to launch another community darkroom in New Orleans in the near future.
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The Flaneur: Moto Journals 7 — The Road South

The last in a seven-part series.
Catch up with Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 and Part 6.

It’s unusual to see a woman riding a motorcycle in this country, much less a heavy Royal Enfield.

During this entire trip, everywhere heads have turned to watch M- ride by. Wherever we wander, she is our ambassador, our interpreter. All I need do is stand behind her, holding my helmet, watching as her charm melts whomever we meet, inspiring them to help us in some way. Continue Reading…

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Expats: Le Tumulte Noir

Photo by George Hoyningen-Huene.

Known as the “Black Pearl” and “Bronze Venus,” Josephine Baker, an African-American vaudeville entertainer, faced racist discrimination throughout her life in the United States but found unbridled success on stages across France and Europe. She even danced nude for integrated audiences during the boom of black American expats in Paris during the 1920s.

“I ran away from St. Louis, and then I ran away from the United States of America, because of that terror of discrimination, that horrible beast which paralyzes one’s very soul and body,” she once said. “I felt liberated in Paris.” Continue Reading…

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What’s Going On In… Antananarivo, Madagascar

Photo by Marco Schmidt.

Spanning several hills lined with steep ancient stairways in Madagascar’s central highlands with a heart-shaped lake and sprawling shanty towns alongside stately French colonial architecture and historic palaces, Antananarivo is a city all its own, and, with inner-city rice paddies and overcrowded markets, not for the faint of heart. Known to the locals simply as Tana, filled with poverty, creative energy, and flowers, Madagascar’s largest city is the thriving hub of unique highland cultures. Continue Reading…

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You Are Here: Haikyo

Photo by Lizzie Hennsey Jones.

The town lies flat in a valley, cinder cone-mountains rising up on all sides. On one-lane roads that lead away from the main street, walled houses give way to larger gardens and the smell of hot flowers, with uniformly green rice paddies in between. After some sharp turns, the road climbs up past a Shinto shrine with a kite perched at the edge on the gabled roof. A few more turns up the mountain and the trees elongate, the greenness deepens. In a cleared patch of graves, an old man uses a bamboo scoop to wash his hands before visiting his family members. Another tier carved into the mountainside has a driving range with a parking lot overgrown at the edges. Continue Reading…

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The Flaneur: Moto Journals 6 — Kalachakra

The penultimate in a seven-part series.
Catch up with Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

 I bump around the tent with my hands trying to find my phone when the alarm goes off at 6 a.m. I shut it off, remove my sleep mask and earplugs, and unzip the tent flap to find two monks crouched outside beside our motorcycles eating breakfast.

At the makeshift tent restaurant we’re camped a few feet away from, a dozen or so Ladakhis are quietly eating fried bread and chickpeas. Behind them, along the gravel road beyond a stone wall, a crowd of tens of thousands is making their way towards the field where the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra initiation is about to begin. The field is almost a mile way, but I can still hear the guttural prayers of thousands of monks over its loudspeakers. Continue Reading…

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Legends: Siberian High

Photo from Russian governmental investigation.

Chilled by Siberian air masses that accumulate during winter, the steel-colored eastern shoulder of Kholat Syakhl (“Dead Mountain” in local tribal language) in Russia’s northern Ural mountains seems like the kind of place an unexplained mystery would take place. And it was. In February 1959, nine ski hikers wandered off-route through this pass and were never seen alive again. The bizarre details surrounding their deaths have inspired a bounty of theories that deviate from the official investigation’s report, which claimed that “a compelling natural force” caused their deaths. Continue Reading…

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